What killed Charles Muhangi?

At around 8:30pm, Charles Karangwa, a city businessman, telephoned his longtime friend, Charles Muhangi and proposed a meeting. The meeting venue was Café Javas on Bombo Road in Kampala. Karangwa was not alone.

He said yesterday he was with Muhangi’s other friend, Ashraf Chemonges, a Senior Superintendent of Police and former Jinja Road Police commander.

 “We ate and dranktogether for over three hours, from 9:00pm to midnight when he (Muhangi) left,”Karangwa said.

While at Javas, Karangwa said, Muhangi ordered for a chocolate drink and juice. He later asked the waiters to pack the remainder of the drinks, before he left the restaurant. As he ambled towards his car, Karangwa said, Muhangi gave him some documents to put in the boot of his car, which he did, before Muhangi drove off.

Enter Miki’s Pub

However, on his way home, waitresses at Miki’s Pub, which is a few metres from his home at Lower Mawanga Zone in Buziga, on Munyonyo Road, said Muhangi, as usual, made a stopover for a drink. Unfortunately, this time around, he found the bartender closing. When he inquired, the waitress told him that they had closed the counter. Muhangi looked disappointment.

 “He said it was okayand walked back to his car, which he had parked at the roadside,” the waitresssaid.

At the time, Muhangi was alone. According to the waitresses, Muhangi always made a night-stopover at Miki’s Pub. When he drove off, waitresses said, Muhangi made another stopover at the nearby supermarket and bought a few goodies.

 Arriving home

At about 2:00am yesterday morning, Muhangi, a renowned rally driver and the proprietor of Horizon Coaches, arrived home driving his posh new car, registration number UBB 264E. His wife, Patience, who stays at home with four of her five children, says he opened the gate himself and entered the house.

He went straight into the bedroom. It is not clear yet what transpired afterwards, but Patience told LC officials that she woke up early and left to pick one of her children who was returning home for holidays. The LC officials say Patience did not tell them whether she talked to Muhangi, 61, in the morning, before she left the house.

However, an hour later, she received a call from one of the children at home, to the effect that: “daddy was not feeling well”. Robert Bwire, the area LC chairperson, said Patience knew she would not get home in time, so she instead called a neighbour’s wife and asked her to rush to the house.

 Bwire said two other neighbours, followed her into the house, including one Dr Kaggwa, a physician, who entered the bedroom and confirmed Muhangi’s death. “I have seen the body. He was lying face up, but there is nothing to suggest whether he struggled. He must have died quietly,” Bwire said.

Muhangi’s favourite chicken

One of his close friends, only identified as Daphine, a former manager of Miki’s Pub, said she last talked to him at around 10:30pm on Wednesday. “He sounded fine,” said Daphine, who added that her conversation with Muhangi started with WhatsApp messages, before she telephoned him.

“He normally picks me late in the night to accompany him to Pyramid Bar and Restaurant near Kampala International University, where he buys his favourite roasted chicken that is oil-free,” she said.

“He had not called me in three days, so I sent him aWhatsApp message. He later called and we chatted. He wanted to pick me up but Itold him we would go there the following evening.” Daphine described Muhangi as“a good man who was social but reserved.

He rarely discussed his family .” She said occasionally, Muhangi would enter Miki’s Pub when he was already tired, and that sometimes he would slip off the chair. Chemonges speaks out Chemonges said when they met Muhangi at Café Javas, he was happy that he had won the court battle against his business rivals, Lubega and Matovu, over ownership of Qualicel Shopping Arcade, Nabukeera Plaza and the Qualicel Bus Terminal.

Muhangi, Chemonges added, had informed him of his plans to revamp the bus terminal and revive his bus company and buy modern buses. Chemonges said Muhangi also had plans to renovate the buildings. He hoped to build a modern bus terminal and refurbish the entire place.

“He had a lot of papers and showed me some of the plans onpaper, They looked magnificent,” the officer said.

Chemonges said he was shocked when Karangwa called him yesterday morning and broke the news of Muhangi’s death. When the news of Muhangi’s death started spreading, several people, including Mary Karooro Okurut, the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, rushed to his home. Several allegations made rounds yesterday but what exactly killed the businessman remained unclear.

Kampala Metropolitan South Criminal Investigations Police boss Godwin Tumuramye, said: “The family said the deceased had been diabetic but this will not deter us from interrogating as many people as possible depending on what the postmortem report will read.” The Police surgeon, Dr Moses Byaruhanga, said they would reveal the post-mortem results today.

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.